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Case Law Update: Legal Malpractice

TIG Insurance Company v. Canel, No. 1-08-1251 (3/24/09) affirmed the trial court’s order staying trial of declaratory judgment action by insurance company against insured law firm, pending the outcome of legal malpractice action, is immediately appealable pursuant to SCR 307(a)(1); because the stay is in the nature of an injunction. Further, trial court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered the stay; because premature resolution of the declaratory judgment action would decide ultimate facts critical to the legal malpractice action with regards to whether the insureds were acting as attorneys for the malpractice plaintiffs at the time of the transaction in question, and whether they committed malpractice. This case will have a great impact on legal malpractice.